If the parent who owes support has the ability to pay child support, but does not pay, the Child Support Program may file a legal action in circuit court to enforce the child support order. Court actions may result in full or partial payment of past-due support, contempt of court, determination of past-due support or an order to seek work or go to job training. If the Child Support program files a court action, a notice will be mailed to both parents on the case, with the date, time and place of the court hearing.
If a parent who owes support is found in contempt of court for willful non-payment of child support, the parent may be incarcerated until payment is made as ordered, but only if the court makes a specific finding that the parent has the present ability to pay a specific dollar amount. If the parent who owes child support does not appear in court, the court may issue an order of arrest (also called a Writ of Bodily Attachment) and the parent may be arrested and jailed.